Taken By Midnight
Midnight Breed/Book 8
*Spoilers for previous books*
From the back cover ~
AT THE CROSSROADS OF DEATH AND DESIRE, A WOMAN TASTES A PLEASURE NO MORTAL IS MEANT TO SURVIVE.
In the frozen Alaskan wilderness, former state trooper Jenna Darrow survives an unspeakable breach of body and soul. But with her narrow escape comes an even greater challenge. For strange changes are taking place within her, as she struggles to understand—and control—a new hunger. To do so, she will seek shelter in the Boston compound of the Order, an ancient race of vampire warriors whose very existence is shrouded in mystery. Perhaps the most mysterious of them all is Brock, a brooding, dark-eyed alpha male whose hands hold the power to comfort, heal . . . and arouse.
As she recovers under Brock’s care, Jenna finds herself drawn to the Order’s mission: to stop a ruthless enemy and its army of assassins from subjecting Earth to a reign of terror. Yet in spite of their resolve, a purely physical relationship without strings soon binds Brock and Jenna together with a desire fiercer than life and stronger than death itself—until a secret from Brock’s past and Jenna’s own mortality challenges their forbidden love to the ultimate trial by fire.
Wow - book 8 and I'm still reading the series, that's always a good sign, right? I plan to read the next book, Hunter's story - another good sign. So while I'm continuing with the series and it still holds my interest, I'm not rushing out to get the book on release day. In fact, I waited on this one for the library copy to be available. I'm not sure what it is, I like the cast of characters, I like the premise - alien vampires crashing on Earth but... it's become a comfortable read. As in I pretty much know what to expect based on previous books and the blurb. There are a few surprises but nothing earth shattering.
Jenna Darrow was introduced in the previous book, Shades of Midnight. She is good friends with Alex Maguire, heroine from that book. After Jenna's vicious attack she is taken to the Order's compound in Boston to recover under the care of Brock, a Breed warrior. It's there that Jenna begins to learn what was done to her and the after-effects of the attack. I liked Jenna but it wasn't like "hey, she great!" more of a "oh, she's nice". She does have a couple of TSTL moments triggered by the freakish situation she finds herself in. She was attacked by an alien vampire and now she's living underground with more vampires and something weird is going on inside her. That would freak anyone out. But she deals with it and with her growing attraction to Brock.
Brock is the calm in Jenna's storm. His ability to take away pain with just a touch keeps him by Jenna's side after she's attacked. He cares about her but he doesn't want to get too close. His past mistake with a female has him determined to keep his distance from Jenna which is hard to do since he's basically put in charge of her. So the inevitable happens, they give into their attraction and spend a hot time between the sheets. And then tell themselves it was only sex. Yeah, right. Brock is a hero that would rather stay in the background. Most of the time he's not an overbearing alpha but he does try to order Jenna around a bit but it was his need to see her safe and not an ego trip. Jenna is more outwardly alpha than Brock. But Brock's easy enough to like. He's a typical vamp hero - dark, dangerous side tempered with a gentle, caring side for his mate.
While Jenna and Brock are denying their growing love, the rest of the Order is working on finding the evil that is Dragos. He has eluded them for sometime but they have been making progress. One thing I do like about this series is that the females, both current and former heroines, don't fade into the background. This time they are working to find the missing Breedmates that they think Dragos kidnapped to use for his breeding program. The women even have their own "war room" in the compound and use their brains and special talents to track down potential leads. And it's not just the men humoring them, they take the women seriously and want their input and involvement as long as their safety isn't jeopardized.
The overall story arc, centered around Dragos, doesn't move along as much as I had hoped. There are a few questions answered but also more crop up. We do find out what is causing Jenna's transformation but it's unclear what she's becoming. A few new characters are introduced with the potential for their own stories but it didn't feel like sequel bait, they actually did add substance to the plot.
The relationship between Brock and Jenna was full of bumps and bruises. They both had past tragedies to overcome before they would allow themselves to feel worthy of being loved. Neither had any problem caring about the other, it was the fear of permanence that held them back. I did think Adrian did a good job showing both Brock and Jenna coming to terms with their pasts and realizing it was okay for them to move on to a lasting relationship. I also liked that Jenna told Brock why she was letting him go, rather than pretending she didn't want him or care about him. Of course, they worked it out and got their HEA.
The next book in the series, Deeper Than Midnight (June 2011) is Hunter's story and yes, I will be reading it. Hunter is one of Dragos' former assassins who is now a member of the Order. He's hard to know, keeping to himself and showing no emotions so it will be interesting to see how he evolves when he falls in love.